Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.
Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.
“The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.
Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.
Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.
Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
7 Things: Governor Ivey has lung cancer, ICE releases two in Birmingham, racial issues maybe not at play in A&M/UNA controversy and more …
(Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)
7. Trump is going to protect his tax returns
After a federal judge halted a California law demanding President Donald Trump turn over his tax returns, the president has filed a lawsuit in an effort to protect his tax returns over efforts from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to subpoena Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the last eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns.
Trump’s lawsuit claims that the subpoena for his tax returns is unconstitutional. Trump’s legal team is also asking for a court order that would grant a “permanent injunction staying the subpoena while the president is in office.”
The moral panic around the issue of vaping continues as the state of Missouri has announced, “A Missouri man in his mid-40s died this week at Mercy Hospital St. Louis due to an illness associated with the use of e-cigarettes.”
The state’s health department led many to speculate this latest death is related to black market vaping projects with THC by stating, “This is an unfortunate case of a young man with no prior lung illness who started vaping because of chronic pain issues.”
5. Birmingham City Schools investigating after a student was left on the bus
Earlier this week, a special needs high school student that attends a Birmingham city school was left unattended on the bus during the whole school day, and now the school system has said they will “review safety measures” to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The company contracted by BCS, School Transportation Solutions, didn’t comment on the situation, but this is obviously a case where a driver didn’t check the bus after dropping students off, which is a requirement of all bus drivers in Jefferson County. Bus drivers for special needs students are also supposed to have an aid with them that double-checks to ensure that no students are left on the bus.
4. Whistleblower complaint against Trump may have involved Ukraine
Sources have told the Washington Post that the whistleblower complaint surrounding President Donald Trump is related to a desire for an investigation into the actions of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine in exchange for military aid.
The source told the Post, “He was being excruciatingly careful about the language he used” when speaking to the foreign leader.” The president lawyer has said he did encourage Ukraine to investigate Biden.
3. Alabama A&M and UNA to work together
Earlier this week, Alabama A&M’s head football coach Connell Maynor said that his team wasn’t treated well when they played the University of North Alabama, as well as suggesting that their poor treatment was racially motivated without much evidence or actual accusations.
In response, the schools have released a joint statement clarifying that they’re still deciding if any further action is necessary, and the statement just emphasized that the schools are “safe, accommodating, friendly, and inclusive.”
2. Birmingham residents released from ICE custody
In August, Marcos and Juan Baltazar were taken into custody because Juan had recently turned 18, which changed both Marcos and Juan’s immigration status, but as Marcos is a board member of Adelante Alabama Workers Center, Birmingham citizens drew attention to the case as they advocated for their release.
Marcos and Juan’s bond was paid through donations raised by Adelante, and the President of Adelante’s Board of Directors, Julia Calderon, said that this was an example of “how powerful our communities are when threatened and we made a clear statement to ICE that no matter how much they try to terrorize us, we will not back down,” but Marcos and Juan were only released on bond and not due to public pressure.
1. Governor Kay Ivey has lung cancer
On Thursday, Governor Kay Ivey sent out a statement announcing that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer, but that it’s “a tiny, isolated malignancy.” In her statement, she affirms that the cancer is “very treatable.”
Ivey also announced that she will be undergoing a procedure Friday morning “which will allow me to soon begin a series of specialized radiation treatments,” and she has guaranteed that her work as governor will continue as normal.
7 Things: White House gun control ideas circulating, Space Command hopes for Alabama, Pelosi throws water on liberals’ impeachment hopes and more …
7. Alabama resident arrested for terrorist ties
Nayef Qashou is being held in a Montgomery detention facility after being found out through a long FBI terrorism probe. Qashou was found to be an Islamic State (ISIS) supporter and is being charged with destroying records and lying to the FBI.
Qashou was asked to carry out attacks for ISIS in the United States, and he said that he would only carry out an attack if it was against U.S. soldiers. But he also offered his service to ISIS to “drive fuel trucks, feed troops, and use a gun to defend against U.S.-led attacks against ISIS.”
On Wednesday, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle announced that he will be campaigning for a fourth term as Huntsville’s mayor, which was expected after news that he had an announcement to make was made public last week.
At his announcement, Battle spoke about the things already accomplished and ongoing improvements made while he’s been mayor, and he noted that while Huntsville is projected to become the largest city in the state within five years, Battle wants “to be the best, and not just in Alabama.”
5. Whistleblower complaint about Trump phone call with a foreign leader
A whistleblower has alleged that during a phone call between President Donald Trump and a “foreign leader” that a concerning promise was made, but acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire has refused to share details about it with lawmakers because he said it did not meet the “urgent need” standard.
This argument will boil down to one of executive power and the Deep State, and whether the president of the United States has the power to conduct business as he sees fit on foreign policy; it will end up before a judge.
4. Iran threatening “all-out war” if the Saudis retaliate
Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif says that if the United States or Saudi Arabia engage in military strikes at Iran that they would fight “to the last American soldier.” The only way they will talk to the United States is if Iran was provided full sanctions relief as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal.
The Saudis and the United States have publicly made the case that it was in fact Iranians that attacked Saudi Arabia’s oil sector because “[t]he attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” according to the Saudi Arabian military.
3. Pelosi says “no” to impeachment for Brett Kavanaugh
Once again, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has declined to support impeachment, but this time with Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and, more simply, Pelosi just said “no” when asked about if the House would give attention to the Kavanaugh allegations.
Other House Democrats are also against seeking impeachment of Kavanaugh. U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) said that Kavanaugh isn’t a priority, which seems to be the general consensus of most House Democrats.
2. Alabama is the top contender for Space Command
It was reported by Breaking Defense that it’s rumored that Redstone Arsenal is currently the top pick for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, which would be due to affordability and “access to and knowledge of military space at senior levels.”
Mayor Tommy Battle, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) and others have argued in favor of making Redstone Arsenal the headquarters, with Battle saying, “We have all the elements of what the Space Command needs to have here.” He added there would be savings of about $100 million if stationed at Redstone Arsenal.
1. Possible gun control proposal going around Capitol Hill
While President Donald Trump hasn’t made an official decision on any of the gun control proposals, one of the proposals for a gun background-check is being seriously considered.
The bill would require background checks for all commercial gun sales, which would include gun shows. Trump is expected to announce legislative changes soon.
7 Things: Jones now against Kavanaugh impeachment, Biden and Warren separate themselves in new poll, vaping illnesses hit Alabama and more …
(D. Jones, R. Shelby/Facebook)
7. Alabama A&M coach not taking the team back to UNA
Connell Maynor, the Alabama A&M football coach, has said that he and his team were treated poorly while visiting the University of North Alabama for their game over the weekend, mentioning, “This ain’t 1959. We don’t have to put up with that type of stuff.”
While Maynor didn’t specifically say what happened, he stated, “There was too much stuff that went on off the field, behind the scenes that was not professional on their part at all. And we were very, very disappointed in the way they treated us, in every aspect off the field.”
Both President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) held campaign rallies, and while Warren was estimated to have 20,000 people in attendance at her rally, Trump was less than impressed.
Trump commented on Warren’s rally, saying that he didn’t think she actually had 20,000 people in attendance. He added that “anybody would get a good crowd there” because the rally was held in Manhattan’s Washington Square.
5. Professors at the University of Alabama think the University of Alabama is racist
In an attempt to appear woke, the Faculty Senate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa has voted to declare a recent resignation of a dean was made possible by a “racist and toxic environment” at the school, even though the professor resigned after posting things on social media that were in themselves racial in nature and could easily be seen as toxic.
The text of the resolution passed by the Faculty Senate references the past issues and “reputation” of the university and claims the culture on the campus is “non-inclusive and discriminatory,” but they don’t explain what events are taking place on the campus that back that up.
4. Alabama hospitals must report gunshot wounds
A new law that goes into effect September 1 will require all Alabama hospitals, clinics, mental health facility and nursing homes to report gunshot wounds to law enforcement, which could have played a role in the arrest of a cop killer.
Reports are required to be made before patients are released from the hospital, and, until now, Alabama has only been one of three states that didn’t require gunshot wounds be reported.
3. First vaping-illness cases confirmed in Alabama
Three people in Mobile County, ages 17-20, have been hospitalized with the vaping lung disease that’s recently received national attention. But there is no word on whether the products were black market or over the counter.
The lung disease has shown up in 36 states, but the percentage of high schoolers vaping is higher in Alabama than it is nationwide, with 24.5% of high schoolers in Alabama using e-cigarette products compared to 20.8% of high schoolers nationwide, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
2. New Democratic presidential polls
A new poll put out shows a significant change in where the top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are, but to no surprise, former Vice President Joe Biden is still leading at 31%, a five-point increase since July.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has gained six points since July, putting her in second place at 25%, while U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has gained one point, but he’s still only polling at 14%. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has stayed at 7%, but U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has fallen eight points, putting her at only 5%.
1. Doug Jones flip-flopped on Kavanaugh impeachment
While U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) originally seemed to support impeachment, on MSNBC Tuesday he had a change of heart when he admitted, “I don’t think you move forward with any allegation in which the victim can’t remember anything and is reluctant to talk about it.”
When the most recent allegations were made against Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Jones immediately said that Kavanaugh’s impeachment was “inevitable,” adding that “it’s unfortunate we didn’t have all of this information for everyone to have a full investigation, an opportunity to review it back in the fall.”
7 Things: Tuscaloosa police officer killed on duty, Doug Jones is a loyal Democrat soldier, more jobs for Alabama and more …
(City of Tuscaloosa/Facebook, PIxabay, YHN)
7. Three states target vaping
Even though the Center for Disease Control has downgraded the number of people impacted by vaping-related illnesses, we are still in the middle of a full-blown moral panic with California, New York and Michigan getting in on the action to solve the crisis.
Michigan and New York have targeted all flavored vaping flavors, while California is targeting black market vape sales, instituting a $20 million state-run advertising campaign and looking to raise taxes on it.
President Donald Trump has said that he wants to “avoid” a war with Iran, but it’s likely that Iran is responsible for the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil supply.
Iran has denied any involvement with the attacks, and Trump said that there won’t be any retaliation from the United States until there’s “definitive proof” that Iran is at fault.
5. Tommy Tuberville says he is running for the right reasons — Bradley Byrne disagrees
While appearing on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville said that in Alabama, “they trust football coaches a heck of a lot more than they trust politicians,” and he emphasized that he’s running for Senate “for the right reasons.”
His primary opponent U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) disagrees and believes voters will as well because he is trying to draw a contrast between Tuberville’s reasons for running and his saying, “I’m not running for this seat because I got bored and needed something to do,” and, “I’ve spent most of my life serving. I want to help the people of this great state.”
4. More jobs for Alabama through Lockheed Martin
On Monday, Lockheed Martin announced that its Courtland facility will get two new buildings for assembling and testing hypersonic programs, which will add 72 new jobs in Courtland.
Huntsville will see 200 new management and engineering jobs through Lockheed Martin for the new hypersonic programs, and it’s expected that there will be more jobs created in the future through this program.
3. Tommy Battle has made a new case for Space Command
After it was announced that Lockheed Martin will be locating its hypersonic defense program in Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle reemphasized why Redstone Arsenal is the best choice for the new U.S. Space Command.
Battle said that Redstone has the “world’s most advanced capabilities in aerospace, space and missile defense, and space exploration are already here.” He added that Huntsville has “become the nation’s epicenter for rocket engines, cyber security, and soon – hypersonics.”
2. Doug Jones silent on New York Times correction on Kavanaugh
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) eagerly appeared on MSNBC where he said that the push for impeaching Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh is “inevitable” but he has been silent on the issue since the New York Times corrected their story to add that the alleged victim doesn’t think the allegation is true. Both of the earlier allegations against Kavanaugh were sketchy as well.
Though Jones hasn’t been shy about expressing his support of nearly every far-left Democratic effort, Jack Panel, the communications director of the Senate Leadership Fund, said that Jones’ support for impeachment on uncorroborated accusations “demonstrates Jones is merely a faithful soldier for Chuck Schumer and national Democrats, not a Senator for the people of Alabama.”
1. Tuscaloosa police officer killed on duty
Army veteran and 13-year Tuscaloosa Police Department veteran Dornell Cousette was shot and killed while serving a warrant, which marks the ninth police officer to be shot and the fourth police officer killed in Alabama this year.
The unnamed 20-year-old suspect fled after the shooting and was later arrested when he showed up at the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound he received. He was being persuaded for failure to appear in court on previous felony charges for robbery and assault.
Bradley Byrne previews attacks that are sure to come against Tommy Tuberville
(Wikicommons, T. Tuberville/Facebook, YHN)
Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville is the frontrunner in the GOP primary race for the right to take on United States Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) but eventually, the attacks will come.
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) may have been showing how Tuberville’s opponents are going to take him on in the near future at a meeting of the Tennessee Valley Republican Club on Saturday morning.
Byrne touched on the carpetbagger allegation without mention Tuberville, saying, “I’m from here, not from wherever else. I love Alabama and know what we need to get done.”
Later he added, “I didn’t come back here to run because it’s convenient. I love this state and I love fighting for Alabama. And that’s exactly what you’ll get with me – a fighter.”
This is hardly a new tact for Tuberville’s detractors, and it may be effective because Alabama is a very proud state that loves its homegrown products.
Byrne further questioned Tuberville’s reason for running.
“I’m not running for this seat because I got bored and needed something to do,” he said while touting his service to Alabama. “I’ve spent most of my life serving. I want to help the people of this great state.”
But it wasn’t all attacks for Byrne on Saturday morning. The congressman also touted his experience in Washington as the most important for Alabamians to support his candidacy.
“It’s more about being able to sit in a room and get things done for your state. I know how to do that, and I’ll be able to keep getting things done for Alabama,” he explained.
Byrne would mention the Space Force command and praise North Alabama as the perfect place for it while adding, “There is nowhere in the country better equipped for it, and as your senator, I’ll continue to fight every day to see that we get things like this done.”
How an argument about experience and effectiveness works in 2020, and in the era of Trump, remains to be seen.
What is clear, is that the issues Byrne is talking about on the campaign trail now will continue to be heard as long as Tommy Tuberville is an untraditional and inexperienced candidate with an apparent lead in the polls.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Another questionable allegation against Kavanaugh, Biden praises Jones in Alabama, now Zeigler wants an elected ALDOT director and more …
7. Beto can’t stop talking and his fellow Democrats don’t like it
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, has attempted to use a platform of banning and confiscating firearms to regain relevancy in the presidential race while other Democrats wish he would stop his absurd comments.
O’Rourke said on Sunday he blames President Donald Trump for the El Paso mass shooting, saying he “has the blood of those 22 people in El Paso on his hands.” He referenced Trump’s Florida rally in May where Trump asked, “How do we stop these people from coming here?” referring to illegal immigrants, and someone responded with “Shoot them.”
6. Trump supports Saudi Arabia and authorized the release of oil reserves
President Donald Trump responded to attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry by blaming Iran and stating we “are locked and loaded” and waiting for Saudi Arabia’s verification of who carried out the attack.
Trump said that he believes this could impact oil prices and “if needed,” he’s approved the release of United States strategic petroleum reserves. Trump tweeted that he’s “informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.”
5. There could be hope for the shuttered nuke plant
State Senator Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) believes the potential exists to start-up the currently mothballed Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in northeastern Alabama and have the plant actually produce nuclear power.
Livingston believes that if the plant ever actually gets the green light to operate, it could have an impact similar to Toyota-Mazada. He advised, “If we’re fortunate to get both reactors going, we’re looking at the possibility of having some 7,000 construction jobs out there for maybe as long as 10 years. It would be cyclical as maybe one reactor would come on, then they would bring the construction to other one up to speed slowly, but surely – then operating 1,200-1,500 operators for both reactors. Well-paying jobs. It’s all about economic development here.”
4. State Sen. Figures says she didn’t ask for the ATRIP-ⅠⅠ appointment
Appearing on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile) spoke about her recent appointment to the ATRIP-ⅠⅠ committee replacing State Senator Chris Elliot (R-Daphne), mentioning how she was removed from a committee for comments she made.
Figures stated how in the House and Senate, people are removed and appointed to committees all the time and said that she doesn’t agree with the burden of cost for the I-10 bridge being on the citizens. She added it should instead be paid for by the federal and state government, later saying that she “didn’t ask to be on this committee,” but it’s “ironic” that she’s been appointed since she voted against the gas tax.
3. Zeigler has some ideas for the future of ALDOT
State Auditor Jim Zeigler has already said that Governor Kay Ivey needs to remove John Cooper as the director of Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), but now Zeigler thinks Alabama should remodel ALDOT to resemble the Mississippi Transportation Commission.
Zeigler suggested that the ALDOT structure should follow Mississippi’s in the way of electing who heads the department and how in Mississippi’s case they have a three-member executive board, saying “They elect their John Cooper. And maybe we need to go to something like that because everything else that has been tried has not worked.”
2. Biden went to church in Alabama and praised his friend Doug Jones
On Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden attended the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham memorial service for the anniversary of the 1963 bombing that killed four girls, took the bold step of rebuking white supremacy and he touted the work of Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).
While speaking at the church, Biden said, “[C]hange comes – sometimes slowly, sometimes all at once – and progress continues. Hate is on the rise again, we’re at a defining moment again in American history. Who are we? What do we want to be? After Charlottesville, I said that I believe we’re at a battle for the soul of America. I say it again today, we’re at the battle for the south of America.”
1. Democrats fighting for impeachment again, this time for Kavanaugh
New allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh were brought up over the weekend, and now 2020 Democratic candidates are calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
But the allegation is dubious as it comes third hand from a former Bill Clinton lawyer Max Stier, who declined to discuss the allegation. He claims that Kavanagh exposed himself at a dorm party where his friends assisted him in assaulting a female student, and apparently, the FBI was notified about the incident but didn’t investigate, and previously the female student has even denied knowledge of the events.
Jackson and Burke are joined by State Senator Sam Givhan to talk about road projects and how Alabama Department of Transportation and Governor Ivey move forward after their big defeat.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” where he argues that companies banning their customers from carrying weapons in their stores aren’t really doing anything but chasing good press by placating a mob and their media.
7 Things: Democrats debate again, impeachment confusion, Sen. Shelby ushers through appropriations bill and more …
7. Beer-drinking non-student gets Alabama professor suspended
Professor Joel Strayer was teaching a supply chain management class when Trevor Nappier, a student at Illinois State University, took out a beer and chugged it near a garbage can in the classroom. The professor’s crime was saying, “I am impressed,” and later adding, “I love it.”
As if the ridiculous suspension wasn’t enough, and he is gone for the semester, UA officials visited the professor’s classes and explained to them what was going on but wouldn’t answer more questions about the matter.
Very bold moves by the faculty at a major research institution, as they issue a resolution against racism, saying, ” “Every voice, identity, experience and background in our community is paramount to our collective success.”
At issue is apparently three students, out of 17,000+, who either belong to a racist organization or made racist comments on social media so the entire university needed every to know “the thoughts expressed by such groups and in such posts are not shared by the institution and do not align with our values.”
5. Charges will likely be brought against Andrew McCabe
The Justice Department has rejected the appeal from former deputy and acting FBI Director FBI Andrew McCabe. U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended continuing with charges relating to findings that McCabe made misleading statements about a Hillary Clinton investigation.
McCabe’s legal team has met with Liu and sent a letter to Jeffery Rosen in an attempt to prevent the United States Attorney’s Office moving forward with prosecution.
4. Alabama is a job creator
Governor Kay Ivey has announced that IBM Services has named Alabama the top job creator for 2018 in America through foreign investments.
A Global Location Trends report also shows that Alabama is scoring highly among other states in America relating to foreign investments. Ivey said that foreign investments continue “to generate significant new opportunities for communities and working families around the state.”
3. Shelby leading defense bill that would benefit Alabama
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a defense funding bill lead by U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) that would benefit Alabama but is also important for national security.
Shelby said that the appropriations bill will be good for Alabama’s “thriving defense community,” specifying that the “bill will provide funding to support the development of hypersonic weapons in North Alabama, improve our Navy’s shipbuilding industry in Mobile, and provide additional resources for Army aviation training at Fort Rucker.”
2. Democrats are confused about impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday wasn’t putting up with questions about impeachment when reporters continued to ask her about her opinion on impeaching President Donald Trump. saying, “Impeachment is a very divisive measure.”
She went on to say that if the facts back up impeachment then a decision will be made at that time, but she refused to answer any more questions on the subject of impeachment, even though Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said it is basically impeachment earlier in the day.
1. Winners and losers of the Democratic presidential debate
Former Vice President Joe Biden was the big winner Thursday night because he avoided a major meltdown and the media is now attacking the only candidate that came close to harming him. Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) was a winner as well because he wowed Democrats with promises of coming to take your guns.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were also-rans, but they will remain in the hunt in early states, while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was unable to get her spotlight back and her campaign is probably over.
7 Things: Supreme Court sides with Trump on asylum, more good business news for Alabama, DNC/AL Dems battle goes on and more …
(John Brighenti, WH/Flickr)
7. Trump might ban all e-cigarette flavored products
In the wake of people getting sick across the country from a mysterious lung disease that’s been linked to vaping and e-cigarettes, the White House is looking to ban all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarette products, in spite of the evidence that this isn’t the problem.
President Donald Trump spoke about the issue in the Oval Office where he said, “We can’t have our youth be so affected. People are dying with vaping, so we’re looking at it very closely.” So far, there have already been nearly 500 cases of the lung disease reported across 33 states and there have been six deaths.
After China halted tariffs on some goods from the United States, President Trump returned the favor and announced that he would postpone an increase in tariffs from 25% to 30% on Chinese goods by two weeks.
Trump wrote on Twitter, “At the request of the Vice Premier of China, Liu He, and due to the fact that the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary on October 1st, we have agreed, as a gesture of good will, to move the increased Tariffs on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods (25% to 30%), from October 1st to October 15th.”
5. 145 businesses want gun control
In a statement to lawmakers, executives said, “Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety.”
Obviously, the push for gun control by the nation’s powerful business leaders will be treated as a great thing by the media and politicians who normally decry the top 1% voicing their opinions to lawmakers on issues like the economy, taxation and trade.
4. Tommy Battle expected to run for reelection
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Tommy Battle’s supporters received an email from him that stated, “We’re not finished working yet,” and mentioned that Battle has an announcement to make on September 18.
While it’s not official yet, it’s expected that Battle’s announcement will be that he’s going to run for reelection. His website tommybattle.com that was used for his gubernatorial campaign now says, “Tommy Battle for mayor.”
3. Nancy Worley is still upset with the DNC
Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley released a written statement about the Democratic National Committee, claiming that the DNC has been attacking the state party since she was reelected and now they’re just trying to beat “Alabama into submission.”
Worley’s letter comes after the DNC began withholding the $10,000 per month Alabama usually receives, which Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said was because the Alabama Democratic Party has “fallen far short of meeting basic obligations to develop an effective strategic plan and build the necessary infrastructure for success.”
2. Alabama high on the list of “Top States for Business”
Area Development magazine has released its 2019 “Top States for Business” where Alabama was ranked number 4 overall but also placed in the top 10 in multiple categories.
Alabama placed top in favorable general regulatory environment and speed of permitting, 2nd in most improved economic development policies, 3rd in overall cost of doing business, 4th in business incentive programs, leading workforce development programs, cooperative and responsive state government, 5th place in shovel-ready sites program and competitive labor environment, 6th in corporate tax environment and 8th in favorable utility rates.
1. Supreme Court to allow asylum restrictions
After a request from the Justice Department, the Supreme Court has decided to allow the Trump administration’s asylum ban on anyone that comes to the United States through the southern border that first passed through a third country, like Mexico, and didn’t seek asylum or protection there.
After the Supreme Court decision, President Trump took to Twitter to celebrate, saying that the ruling is a “BIG United States Court WIN for the Border on Asylum!” He also said while the ruling isn’t a final decision on the policy, it does allow it to take effect while the policy goes through the lower courts.
7 Things: Counting illegal immigrants hurts Alabama, property tax passes by huge margin, Ivanka Trump touts apprenticeship opportunities in Alabama and more …
(DeKalb County Sheriff's Office)
7. Alabama hospitals suing opioid makers
Twenty-one Alabama hospitals have filed a civil lawsuit against companies responsible for making opioids, including Johnson & Johnson, Purdue Pharma and Abbot Laboratories, claiming the companies falsely represented how addictive opioid products are.
Attorney Robert King said that the “deceptive marketing efforts of the defendants substantially contributed to an explosion in the use of opioids across the country,” as well as mentioning how hospitals have had to care for a “heroic” number of opioid patients.
The Chinese government could be attempting to show some good faith ahead of trade negotiations with the United States by waiving tariffs on 16 American products, which will go into effect on September 17, but there are still currently more than 5,000 Chinese tariffs on goods from the United States.
The motivation could be different however, as Iris Pang, economist for Greater China at ING, told The Hill this might just be about giving the Chines economy a jolt. Pang explained, “The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity toward the U.S. ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy.”
5. John Bolton out
It was announced on Tuesday that national security advisor John Bolton had been fired from his position. President Donald Trump said that he “disagreed strongly” with Bolton on national security.
Apparently, one of the reasons for Bolton’s dismissal was his opposition to Trump meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Trump’s efforts to have a secret meeting with Taliban leaders in an attempt to reach a peace agreement.
4. Banning firearms isn’t making anyone safer
Recently, more retailers, including Aldi, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Krogerrequested that customers no longer open carry in their stores, but these new requests aren’t making customers safer — they are leading to more guns being purchased.
People shopping at these stores might feel safer because they don’t see a lawful citizen carrying a gun, but in reality, people who want to do harm aren’t going to pay attention to a store’s request for them not to carry a gun into the store.
3. Apprenticeship program announced
During Ivanka Trump’s visit to Alabama, Toyota Motor North America and The Manufacturing Institute officially announced their partnership to establish an apprenticeship program.
At the event, Ivanka spoke about the success of the program and how much Alabama’s economy has improved, mentioning Alabama’s 3.3% unemployment rate and how there are now more job openings than unemployed Americans.
2. Madison approves massive property tax increase by a huge margin
The 12-mil property tax increase in Madison was expected to pass, but not many expected it to pass by a 70-30 margin. The increase is meant to alleviate the stress on the school system brought about by an increase in students in one of the state’s top-ranked school districts.
The tax was proposed due to schools currently being near capacity and with the promise that the school system would add a 900 student elementary school, a 1,200 student middle school and expand the capacity two high schools in the district.
1. Cities and states with lots of illegal immigrants want Alabama to have less representation
U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor has approved 15 states and major cities, including New York, California, Virginia and the District of Columbia, to oppose Alabama’s legal fight to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census because they want the illegal aliens counted so they will benefit with more congressional representation and federal funding.
Letitia James, the New York attorney general, stated that they are opposing Alabama’s efforts to fight “the Trump administration’s attempts to tip the balance of power in the nation and Alabama’s endeavor to continue down that path,” but U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall are working to only count citizens because counting illegal immigrants could unfairly disadvantage “states with low numbers of illegal aliens to states with high numbers of illegal aliens.”
7 Things: Doug Jones wants to be viewed as a moderate, toll critic says he is being punished, no new tolling projects and more …
(D. Jones for Senate/Contributed)
7. Ivanka Trump visiting Tanner, Alabama
The first daughter will visit the Alabama Robotics Technology Park located in Decatur to make announcements on expanded workforce development and apprenticeship opportunities in Alabama.
Prior to her trip to Alabama, she tweeted about the “The Alabama Success story” since the beginning of the Trump administration, including noting that unemployment was down 2.5%, reaching an all-time low at 3.3%, unemployment insurance claims have gone down over 26% and wages are up.
America’s political media got ahead of itself again. In an effort to “get” President Trump, CNN ran with a story that claimed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had to pull a spy out of Russia because President Trump had “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.”
The CIA responded to the reporting, saying it was “misguided” and “simply false” while The New York Times reported that the decision was made in 2016, which was obviously before Trump took office, but the false narrative continues to advance.
5. Alabama won’t participate in Google probe
All states and territories, except for Alabama and California, will be investigating Google’s “potential monopolistic behavior” and it’s not clear why Alabama is not participating.
While Alabama and California have decided not to be involved in the investigation, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will join the other 48 states.
4. Mobile port expansion approved
On Monday, the Alabama State Port Authority announced that the federal government has authorized improvements to the Mobile Harbor by deepening the bar, bay and river channels and widening the bay channel.
The improvements will allow larger vessels to enter the port. James K. Lyons, chief executive officer for the Port Authority, said that when Phase 3 expansion is completed, “the port and its partner, APM Terminals, will have nearly $500 million in container intermodal assets to serve our customers.”
3. No more toll roads for now
Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) on Monday said that as of right now, there aren’t any other toll road projects, but he also clarified that there isn’t just “a list of projects out there that are listed on a page that says ‘these are toll projects.’”
However, since the Mobile Bridge and Bayway Project, there has continued to be speculation on the possibility that future road projects will be turned into toll roads.
2. Chris Elliot replaced
Governor Kay Ivey has replaced State Senator Chris Elliot (R-Daphne) with State Senator Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile) on the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program-ⅠⅠ, and now Elliot is claiming that Ivey’s action is due to his opposition to the Mobile Bridge and Bayway Project.
Elliot said that he wasn’t surprised by Ivey’s decision, stating, “It’s clear that the Governor’s office is disappointed with my decision to withdraw my support from her flawed I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway proposal.”
1. Doug Jones: Generic Democrat
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) spoke about gun control on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” where he said that Democrats and Republicans need to be focused on saving lives, but Jones believes that “special interest groups have divided us,” and went on to emphasize, “This is not about guns. This is about saving lives.”
While there is an attempt to paint Jones as a moderate, his words tell a different tale. He also explained that he thinks the issues around mass shootings isn’t just mental health because mental health issues have been discussed, and Jones said that “blaming this on mental health” hasn’t worked. He then took aim at “thoughts and prayers” saying that those aren’t solving the issues either.
“Well, I don’t know if you need to say it ‘well that’s over, next’ the next project, because there’s not a list of projects out there that are listed on a page that says ‘these are toll projects,’ no we don’t have nothing like that,” McCutcheon stated on “The Dale Jackson Show.”
The Alabama Department of Transportation may have other plans, but as of right now there doesn’t appear to be any plans for new tolls in the state.
7 Things: Jones kicks off reelection campaign, more investigation into Trump by Democrats, Afghanistan/Taliban peace deal seems unlikely and more …
(D. Jones for Senate/Contributed)
7. Ivanka Trump coming to Alabama
On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump will make an announcement at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Tanner about the workforce development and apprenticeship opportunities in Alabama.
Ivanka Trump is planning on meeting students in the apprenticeship program and touring the park. She said that the Trump administration “is committed to ensuring inclusive growth and opportunity in our booming economy by creating pathways for all Americans, regardless of age or background, to acquire the skills needed to secure and retain high paying jobs.”
6. Vaping is causing a school to take the doors off the bathroom stalls
The administrators at a school in Lauderdale County have decided the best way to attack kids taking a vaping break during school hours is to make them use the restroom without doors, exposing their misdeeds and bathroom habits to the world.
This is a response to a student who allegedly passed out after vaping in the bathroom and some parents are now calling for bathroom monitors to watch the children while they do their business.
5. Media continue to attack over Trump warning Alabama could be hit by Hurricane Dorian
There was yet another week of silly bickering by the national press and the president of the United States, but this time it was over the path of a hurricane, which was projected to impact Alabama according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Alabama National Guard.
As the back and forth continued, the media spoke in absolute terms and cited the Birmingham Weather Service as proof. NOAA released a statement over the weekend disputing that certainty which read, “The Birmingham National Weather Service’s Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time.”
4. Unemployment rate stays at 3.7%
Despite ongoing trade wars, the media and their Democrats’ attempts to talk down the economy may not be working as well as they want yet as 130,000 jobs were created last month and wages growth continued.
These numbers are not great, by any means, but the economy is still strong with near 50-year-low unemployment numbers and growing. But there are signs that growth is slowing and that could mean retraction may be coming soon.
3. No peace with the Taliban
After the Taliban took claim for the bombing in Kabul last week that killed a U.S. soldier, peace talks between the U.S., Afghanistan and the Taliban were canceled. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that this shows the Taliban can’t be trusted at this time.
Pompeo also said that the Taliban was using “terror to improve their negotiating position.” President Donald Trump announced the secret meeting after it was canceled; he doesn’t believe that the Taliban has the “power to negotiate a meaningful agreement” if they can’t agree to a ceasefire.
2. Democrats try something new and original — investigating Trump
In more recent efforts to investigate impeaching President Donald Trump, the House Judiciary Committee stumbled over themselves and now Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is attempting to define when impeachment proceedings actually began.
U.S. Representative Doug Collins (R-GA) claimed that the committee was investigating outside of the boundaries allowed by House rules. He said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that everything the Democrats have done this year “is simply a show, a travesty, and frankly they should be ashamed,” as well as pointing out that if they really want to start impeachment proceedings, they just have to bring it to the House floor.
1. Jones starts his 2020 campaign as Republicans hit him on socialism
U.S. Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) used his campaign kickoff to talk about gun control, abortion rights and non-existent voter suppression issues in Alabama. He even brought up Governor Kay Ivey’s blackface scandal to highlight how little his supporters think of the state, arguing, “It is a painful admission that in the eyes of the nation, folks just don’t believe we’ve come very far.”
A National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) billboard outside his event reminded Jones, and voters, not to forget that for all his talk of moderation, he has previously said that he would support the Democratic nominee no matter who it is, and declared himself an anti-Trump Democrat. The NRSC added that Jones continues to put “the interests of the most liberal and socialist members of his party ahead of his constituents.”
7 Things: Trump could move on gun control, University of Alabama dean gets canceled, Alabama gets a starring role in #Sharpiegate and more …
7. There is never an actual bomb
On Thursday morning, a 16-year-old called a bomb threat into Gardendale High School at about 5:00 a.m. and school was delayed until 10:30 while the school was searched for any explosives.
The 16-year-old was a student at the high school and has since been arrested for making a terrorist threat, but the teen won’t be charged as an adult so his name hasn’t been released and officials haven’t released specifics on the threat.
Alabama is one of the 10 states joining 22 House Republicans and the National Rifle Association in support of Remington Arms in the liability court ruling for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by filing briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2015, relatives of nine of the victims and one survivor filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Remington, claiming that the company should’ve never sold a weapon that dangerous, as well as saying that through video game product placement the company targeted young at-risk males, but the briefs were filed due to the 2005 federal law that protects gun makers from liability.
5. John Merrill is looking into voter fraud in Montgomery
Thursday, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill announced that there have been 12 alleged incidents of voter fraud from the municipal election in Montgomery last week; no reports of suppression have been made.
The 12 incidents are under investigation by the secretary of state’s office, but so far no fraud has been confirmed. Merrill has said that in the municipal election there was “human error” since election workers didn’t follow procedure sometimes, but the upcoming runoff will be monitored by 10 election observers.
4. Terrorist watchlist could be weakened by court ruling
A terrorist watchlist that kept some people from traveling may be in danger of being modified or ended altogether after close to two dozen Muslim U.S. citizens won a victory in federal court against the FBI and other federal agencies, however, it is unclear what could happen next.
There are currently over 1 million people on this watchlist, with less than 5,000 Americans, and many are suggesting the list be used to keep people from purchasing firearms. Now that the list has been ruled against, that seems less likely than it did previously.
3. Alabama has a role in #Sharpiegate
The question has been asked for the better part of the week, “Did the president use a sharpie on a map?” as if it was Watergate, and now a Trump aide has released a statement declaring he told the president that Alabama was in the line of fire and Trump retweeted an Alabama National Guard tweet declaring, “#HurricaneDorian is projected to reach southern Alabama by the early part of the week.”
Cable news hosts and commentators are questioning whether the president committed a crime (he didn’t) as if this is going to take him down after Russia, tax returns and porn stars were all declared to be “the beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency.
2. Cancel culture takes out University of Alabama dean
With the “resignation” James. R. Riley, former University of Alabama’s assistant vice president and dean of students, over some stupid tweets, our insatiable thirst for the blood, careers, and platforms for our political enemies has claimed another victim.
Riley’s ridiculous tweets about racism, the American flag, white people and privilege were pretty run-of-the-mill liberal thought, but once Breitbart and Fox News’ Laura Ingraham got involved, it caused a ruckus on the Internet that a major American university couldn’t withstand for some reason.
1. Legislation on gun control has been sent to the White House by the DOJ
In the wake of mass shootings, the Department of Justice has sent a package of legislative options on what to do about gun violence to the White House for consideration.
President Donald Trump has already indicated that he would be willing to consider or approve gun control, depending on how reasonable, but he has also insisted that he strongly supports Second Amendment rights.
7 Things: CNN’s climate town hall was a hoax, ALGOP resolution against Omar is going nowhere, Byrne wants Space Command in Alabama and more …
7. Auburn alumni are important for Alabama’s economy
A study conducted by the Economic Research Services, Inc. and Auburn’s Division of University Outreach has released data that shows Auburn University alumni contribute $5.6 billion to Alabama’s economy annually.
A press release from Auburn University stated that the $5.6 billion “marks a 4 percent increase from a 2017 study conducted by University Outreach.” The impact of Auburn is also responsible for creating almost 27,000 jobs.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will be making a campaign stop in Birmingham on September 15, but further details about his visit haven’t been announced.
Birmingham has already been visited by five other 2020 presidential candidates: U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and now withdrawn candidate U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
5. Christine Blasey Ford was pretty politically motivated
Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were teenagers, was apparently motivated to go public so that Kavanaugh’s reputation would be tarnished before he got the chance to make decisions on abortion cases.
Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, said in a video posted by The Daily Caller News Foundation that Kavanaugh will now “have an asterisk next to his name,” as well as saying that if Kavanaugh is faced with Roe v. Wade, then “we will know who he is” and about his character and motivation. According to Katz, “that is part of what motivated Christine.”
4. Trump is taking his victory lap
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump spoke to reporters in the Oval Office and discussed the border wall construction, saying that construction is going well and he expects 500 miles of border wall to be completed by the end of next year.
Previously, Trump had taken $155 million in FEMA funds to instead use on the border wall. He was asked if he still believed this was a good decision with the current situation with Hurricane Dorian, but Trump’s only response was that the administration is “using much less here than we anticipated” to aid those impacted.
3. Byrne pushes for Space Command
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper urging him to consider Huntsville for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, saying, “The space legacy and unmatched workforce of the Rocket City make it an ideal choice,” as well as noting the contributions Huntsville has made to national security and the space program.
Byrne specified that Huntsville would be a good choice due to the workforce’s experience in developing “rocket propulsion systems and technologies.” Currently, the finalists in consideration for the headquarters are the Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado; Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado; Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; and Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado.
2. Sorry, Congress probably won’t get rid of Omar
At the Lawrence County Republican Party meeting with U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), the 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate was asked if fellow Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) could actually be expelled from Congress after the Alabama Republican Party passed a resolution asking for the Alabama congressional delegation push for expulsion.
Byrne said that it “takes a pretty high standard to expel somebody from the House,” adding he is going to look at the standards again and decide if he believes she needs to be expelled, but as of right now, he’s saying Omar is going to stay unless she’s voted out by her constituents.
1. CNN’s climate town hall was a circus
Apparently, at least according to CNN’s Climate Town Hall, the way to stop climate change is to ban items like hamburgers, fracking, certain light bulbs, cars, plastic bags, nuclear power plants and plastic straws while pushing for more abortion in third world countries, increases in the minimum wage and jailing energy executives.
For any impartial observer, the town hall was an embarrassing political disaster, particularly for former Vice President Joe Biden, where candidate after candidate pushed for programs and ideas that will make the average American’s life significantly worse, irrationally increase government spending and power and have almost no actual impact on the matter at hand.
7 Things: Ivey not resigning, Alabama Dems can’t help themselves, Walmart tries but fails to please the mob and more …
(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)
7. House committee is about to start another investigation into Trump
The House Judiciary Committee is going to start an investigation into President Donald Trump possibly being involved in paying hush-money through his attorney to Karen McDouglas and Stormy Daniels, who have claimed they had affairs with Trump.
Starting in October, the committee will likely begin holding hearings where they will question witnesses about the payments. This investigation will only add to the long list of existing investigations into Trump’s actions.
Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity (URGE) is working with the young people of Alabama to remove the stigma surrounding abortion; they’ve also put up pro-abortion billboards to help further their movement.
URGE executive director Kimberly Inez McGuire said that young people in Alabama want reproductive rights that include abortion. An example of what the billboards say is: “Abortion: you do you.”
5. Build that wall
The border wall is getting $3.6 billion in Defense Department construction funds, which will provide enough funding for 175 miles of more wall along the southern border.
Those against the border wall have already spoken out against the use of Defense Department funds, with U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) saying that President Trump has “made it clear he is willing to take funds from our troops and disaster victims to divert them to try to protect his political right flank.”
4. The defeat of tolls in Alabama was big
In an effort to fight against the proposed I-10 toll bridge in Mobile, State Auditor Jim Zeigler started a Facebook group that gained 55,000 members who also opposed the toll. Zeigler is claiming that Governor Kay Ivey putting an end to the I-10 project was due in part to his group.
Zeigler said, “The people were against this. Only certain Montgomery politicians were for it. And we beat them,” and Zeigler also went on to say that he hasn’t seen people this fired up “since the Civil Right Movement of the 1960s.”
3. Walmart is doing “something”
In response to recent mass shootings, but actually a media-driven mob, Walmart has declared it will no longer sell handgun ammunition and “short-barrel rifle ammunition” while requesting that customers no longer openly carry guns in their stores.
The actual impact of this will be almost nothing as people will still be able to purchase firearms and ammunition elsewhere, people will still carry weapons to Walmart, the mob will not be satiated and activists will still target Walmart and payment processors like Visa.
2. Alabama Democrats are just sad
Alabama Democrats and their allies in Alabama are so incompetent that they have rarely been able to capitalize on scandal after scandal in Alabama. From a lecherous Republican governor to an indicted and convicted House speaker, they have been unable to gain a foothold with voters because their ideas are bad.
So, when Governor Kay Ivey became embroiled in a tepid blackface scandal, few were surprised when Alabama Democrats used that opportunity to offer their stale loser ideas for everyone to hear, again. The NAACP stated that Ivey “refused to Expand Medicaid, did not support Birmingham increase in minimum wage; Governor Ivey even signed a bill approving the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017.”
1. No resignation from Ivey
On Tuesday, Governor Kay Ivey made her first public appearance since she released her apology letter for wearing blackface in college in 1967. The incident was quickly brought up and so was the question about her possible resignation.
When asked about if she would resign, Ivey responded, “Heavens no.” She went on to say that she isn’t the same person that she was 52 years ago, adding she’s received a lot of encouragement and understanding comments, but she’s not resigning and she’s “full speed ahead.”
7 Things: Trump backs Ivey, Mobile still wants a bridge, Roy Moore doesn’t understand religious freedom and more …
(WH/Flickr, UAH/Contributed, YHN)
7. Major U.S. Army contracts coming to Alabama
The U.S. Army has announced a contract of $347 million to Lockheed Martin for a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon prototype system integrator in Courtland and another contract of $351.6 million given to Dynetics Technical Solutions for Common-Hypersonic Glide Body prototypes to be produced in Huntsville.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) spoke about the contracts, saying “Hypersonic weapons are a critical priority as we continue to innovate and improve our nation’s defense.” Shelby also mentioned how these contracts will “allow us to leverage commercial technology to field needed weapons to our soldiers in just a few years.”
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a message for anyone who is a “corporate elite”: “Spend that money quick” because if he becomes president, he will rescind the Trump tax legislation “as soon as we get into office.”
Sanders has also claimed that we need to end the tax cut because it only benefits the elite and he wants to bring legislation that will help “working families struggling to get by in this country.”
5. “Baby Roe” case tossed
After Ryan Magers of Huntsville found out that his ex-girlfriend got an abortion at the Alabama Women’s Clinic in Huntsville, he filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic on behalf of “Baby Roe,” but a judge has dismissed the entire case.
Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer dismissed the case due to the lawsuit not actually accusing the Huntsville clinic of any unlawful or wrongful conduct, and while Magers’ attorney Brett Helms has argued that the state has passed an abortion ban and a constitutional amendment that recognizes the rights of unborn babies, the embryo was aborted in 2017, which was before the amendment was passed.
4. This weekend in mass shootings
At a high school football game in Mobile, 17-year-old Deangelo Parnell opened fire on a group of teens and has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder. The incident stemmed from an earlier altercation and law enforcement says there were adults that were aware something was going to take place at this game.
A west Texas gunman killed seven people during a police chase after a routine traffic stop after he was fired from his job, leading to the company calling the police. He also failed a background check and it was illegal for him to possess a firearm.
3. Roy Moore craves our attention
A feud between U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore broke out after the Alabama Republican Party passed a resolution urging Alabama’s congressional delegation to push to expel Omar from Congress. Omar responded by essentially saying that Alabama needs to clean up their own politics since they nominated “an accused child molester.”
Of course, Moore is taking full advantage of his short time in the spotlight because no one has paid much attention to him since he announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate again. Moore declared that Omar should “go back from whence she came,” and now he’s doubled-down on that statement by saying that because Omar took “an oath to the Koran – no, they should not serve in Congress” because Moore said that the Koran violates our constitutional religious liberties.
2. Albritton wants to see more options for a bridge
With a seat on the Alabama Toll Road, Bridge, and Tunnel Authority, State Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) has spoken out in an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” saying he wants to see what else could be done.
Albritton noted the 14 other plans that ALDOT had rejected before they decided to move forward with the $2.1 billion I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge project that Governor Kay Ivey has canceled, and Albritton believes that Alabama “could do better.”
1. Trump is backing Ivey
After it was revealed that Governor Kay Ivey wore blackface during a college skit back in the 1960s, she released an apology. President Donald Trump is now speaking out in favor of Ivey and her character.
When asked about the blackface incident and people in Alabama calling for Ivey’s resignation, Trump admitted that he didn’t know much about the situation, but offered, “[S]he’s a very high-quality woman, Kay Ivey. Very, very high-quality woman. I can tell you that. And I know she apologized.”
7 Things: Ivey faces blackface backlash, Zeigler wants ALDOT director gone, Comey broke rules and suffers no consequences and more …
7. Then there were ten
On Thursday, the Democratic National Committee announced the candidates who have qualified for the upcoming presidential primary debate on September 12 in Houston, and it’s only half of the last debate’s total.
There are only ten candidates who have qualified for the upcoming debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ); South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA); former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX); U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MD); entrepreneur Andrew Yang; and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
6. JSU is being called out for using “crucifixion” imagery
The new Jacksonville State University college football hype video opens with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” playing, followed by red or white paint dripping down player’s limbs.
Some people have said that the video is using crucifixion imagery and are upset with the video due to religious reasons, however even if you aren’t offended by the video you can’t deny that it’s just plain weird.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump held an event in the Rose Garden to further his move to create the Space Force. He officially reestablished the U.S. Space Command, which will serve as the military’s 11th combatant command and could be stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.
During the announcement, Trump said, “The dangers to our country constantly evolve, and so must we,” and noted that there are different evolving threats in terms of missile launches and new technology. Now, “it’s going to be a whole different ball game” for those who threaten the United States.
4. Lathan is defending her party’s resolution
Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan on Thursday appeared on the “Matt & Aunie” show to defend the resolution pushing for U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be expelled from Congress and explained why there’s no issue with Alabama bringing this resolution.
Lathan said that Omar’s oath is to the constitution, not just to the people of Minnesota, and she went on to explain that even though different legislators represent different states, it “does not mean the people in Alabama just be quiet – because they pledge an allegiance to the constitution of our nation.” Lathan also said that if representatives from other states don’t want Alabama criticizing them, then those states would have to stop criticizing Alabama in turn.
3. Comey leaked but won’t be prosecuted
In an occurrence that seems all too common, Americans are being told that the rules do not apply to the powerful, as an Inspector General report found that former FBI Director James Comey violated bureau policies in handling documents and leaking. However, they decided not to pursue charges.
The DOJ’s IG’s office found that “Comey violated FBI policy and the requirements of his F.B.I. employment agreement when he chose this path” and his actions set a “dangerous example” because he was pursuing a “personally desired outcome.”
2. Axe the ALDOT director?
After Governor Kay Ivey announced that the I-10 Movile River Bridge and Bayway project is essentially “dead,” State Auditor Jim Zeigler is now saying that the ALDOT Director John Cooper should be fired.
In a letter that Zeigler sent to Ivey, he lays out reasons why Cooper should be fired, including “prematurely proceeding with the I-10 toll bridge project without having obtained support.” Zeigler said that Cooper no longer has credibility with people or elected officials in the state.
1. Alabama governor’s shame
52 years ago, Governor Kay Ivey and her then-fiancé Ben LaRavia were interviewed on the Auburn student radio station when Ivey was Auburn’s SGA vice president, and during the interview LaRavia describes a Baptist Student Union skit that Ivey participated in where she wore “a pair of blue coveralls and she had put some black paint all over her face.” Ivey on Thursday already released this radio clip and a statement addressing the incident.
Ivey’s statement says that while she doesn’t remember the skit, wearing blackface or the radio interview from 1967, she “will not deny what is the obvious.” Ivey also isn’t trying to excuse any of her actions because she was a college student or because it occurred in the 1960’s, and the governor has offered her “heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes.” “I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s,” she said.
7 Things: Mobile Bay Bridge tolls dead for now, Moore and Omar crave attention, free college in Birmingham and more …
(Mobile Bay Bridge Project/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)
7. Space Command could come to Alabama
Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal is on the shortlist for potential homes of the Space Command, along with four Air Force bases in Colorado and Vandenberg AFB in California. The winner will be announced Thursday at the White House.
President Donald Trump will be part of the announcement for the Space Command. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said will be responsible for planning and carrying out space operations. He added Space Command will have 87 units at its launch with abilities including missile warning, satellite operations, space control and space support.
After using his platform on primetime cable television to float another unconfirmed conspiracy theory about President Donald Trump and his interaction with Russian oligarchs, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell had to walk back his statement and issue a retraction.
Make no mistake, as this was a forced retraction. O’Donnell noted, “This afternoon, attorneys for the president sent us a letter asserting the story is false. They also demanded a retraction. Tonight, we are retracting the story.” But he still irresponsibly offered this caveat, “We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate. The fact is we do know it wasn’t ready for broadcast and for that I apologize.”
5. Democratic staffers act out at border facilites
After House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent his staff to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at the border, and the staff members were “disruptive” and wouldn’t follow instructions, the Department of Homeland Security has barred anymore Democratic staffers of the committee from visiting.
Cummings had been planning on sending his staff back to the border this week to visit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP centers, but because staff was interfering with law enforcement, being rude to officers and refusing to leave a location after their allotted time, the ICE visit this week will be limited to two hours.
4. Trump could get three more Supreme Court nominations
While U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) was speaking to the Morgan County Republican Party at their monthly meeting, he explained why it’s so important that President Donald Trump win reelection and Republicans keep the Senate.
Brooks said that depending on how things go over the next few years, we could see not just one but “maybe two, maybe even three Supreme Court justices if President Trump can nominate and the Senate can confirm the two like the president has nominated so far.”
3. Free college for Birmingham students
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced on Twitter. “Starting in 2020, any Birmingham City School student that walks across the graduation stage will have the opportunity to attend any in-state two- or four-year school tuition-free.”
Woodfin did clarify that students will only be funded to attend in-state public colleges, but so far, no explanation has been provided on how the program will be funded.
2. Roy Moore really wants you to pay attention to him
Former Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore has taken his opportunity to make headlines and responded in the ongoing feud between Alabama Republicans and U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by saying, “President Trump was right: she should go back to Somalia from whence she came.”
Of course, Moore was only brought into this argument because after the Alabama Republican Party passed a resolution that Omar should be expelled from Congress, Omar responded by saying, “If you want to clean up politics, maybe don’t nominate an accused child molester as your Senate candidate.”
1. Mobile’s toll project not happening?
After months of political wrangling and public outcry, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared the plans for a Mobile Bay Bridge and Bayview are effectively dead.
Governor Ivey cited the Eastern Shore Metropolitan Planning Organization’s failure to prioritize the project when she said, “With the action taken today, there is no pathway forward, and this project is dead.”
7 Things: Climate change being blamed for the cost of the Mobile Bay Bridge, Alabama’s auto business booms, Omar blasts ALGOP and more …
(Mobile Bay Bridge Project/Contributed, YHN)
7. Prescription prices hurt Alabamians
AARP Alabama has released new data that shows 35% of Alabamians stopped using prescription drugs due to high prices and people with cancer, heart disease and prediabetes or diabetes were of those more likely to be unable to afford their prescriptions.
AARP Alabama State Director Candi Williams said, “While prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket, Americans are being forced to choose between filling life-saving medications or paying rent and buying food.” According to figures provided by AARP, between 2012-2017 the price of prescriptions used to treat cancer, diabetes and heart disease all nearly doubled in price.
U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs has temporarily blocked the eight-week abortion ban in Missouri right before the law was going to take effect due to pending court proceedings with Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.
Whereas federal law allows states to ban abortions after 24 weeks, PP and ACLU are claiming that the Missouri law is unconstitutional for going against Roe v. Wade, and the Missouri law only allows abortion in the case of a medical emergency.
5. Democrats will do anything to impeach President Trump
From a court filing from the House Judiciary Committee, members of the committee have suggested that the impeachment investigation into President Trump started before former special counsel Robert Mueller finished his Russia investigation.
Previously, Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) claimed that impeachment proceedings didn’t officially begin until just before Nadler petitioned to get information on the Mueller report from a secret grand jury, but now the court filings from Monday suggest that the impeachment proceedings actually started on March 4, whereas Mueller didn’t release the report to Attorney General William Barr until March 22.
4. Worker center is demanding the release of board member and son
Marcos and Juan Baltazar were detained by ICE last Thursday during a routine check-in Homewood, Alabama, and have been transferred to an ICE facility in Gadsden, and now Adelante Alabama Worker Center is demanding that ICE release the two.
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox has explained the issue, saying that Juan “who was formerly a minor, is now an adult. Once you are no longer a sole caregiver for a minor child, that impacts your status as well. the person turning 18 has a change of circumstance,” but members of the community gathered in Birmingham with Adelante to demand the men’s release.
3. Ilhan Omar benefits from ALGOP’s move to expel her from Congress
This weekend, the Alabama Republican Party voted to support a worthless resolution calling for United State Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be removed from Congress. Omar was more than happy to respond to it by slamming the ALGOP, saying, “If you want to clean up politics, maybe don’t nominate an accused child molester as your Senate candidate?”
While there was no chance that Omar was going to be removed from Congress after the ALGOP vote, there was a 100% chance that Omar, the media and their Democrats would jump on a group of Alabama Republicans voting to remove a female Democrat of color from a swing state from Congress and that is exactly what is happening.
2. The auto industry is big business in Alabama
The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama released a study that noted that Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, through its plants and suppliers, was responsible for bringing more than $12 billion in economic impact and 45,647 jobs.
Alabama continues to see foreign auto investment in the state, with each auto plant bringing suppliers into the region. And as more suppliers locate here, the more attractive it becomes for new manufacturing.
1. Climate changes cited as a reason for the Mobile Bay Bridge costs
As if your average Alabamian needed another reason to oppose this $2.1 billion project, now those proposing the project have explained a large portion of the cost of the project to attributed in part to “federal regulations” that “integrate consideration of climate change and extreme weather event impacts.”
The ALDOT document says that new highways and bridges “must be resilient to climate change and extreme weather events,” which may explain why the project’s costs have ballooned from the original $900 million pricetag.
7 Things: ‘No tolls’ chorus grows, Byrne doesn’t buy that Democrats are progressive, companies want to build Alabama prisons and more …
(Fox 10 WALA/YouTube, YHN)
7. Everything you are hearing about the rainforest is wrong
Celebrities, politicians and the media have gotten most of their information about the rainforest wrong as they attempt to bring needed attention to the fires that are raging in the Amazon.
“One of the world’s leading Amazon forest experts,” Dan Nepstad, told Forbes the claim that the rainforest operates as the “lungs of the earth” is not true at all. “There’s no science behind that. The Amazon produces a lot of oxygen but it uses the same amount of oxygen through respiration so it’s a wash,” he stated.
President Donald Trump said China is ready to re-enter negotiation to “make a deal,” adding they are reaching out to the United States to seek a “calm” end to the trade war that is causing heartburn on both nation’s economies.
The war between China and the United States was a topic of conversation at the G-7 meetings among foreign leaders with Trump saying the Chinese called twice and the Chinese officials refusing to confirm the outreach.
5. Alabama has a new European office
The Alabama Department of Commerce has opened a new business development office in Stuttgart, Germany, with the hopes of using the office to recruit new European business to the state.
The office will be run by Christoph Doerr, an experienced German businessman who will look to increase the $1.5 billion in new capital investment and 1,500 jobs that Alabama took in from Europe during 2018 alone.
4. New poll shows a new look for the 2020 race
A new poll by Monmouth University shows a tight three-way race for the Democratic candidates for president with both U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) each receiving 20% and surpassing former Vice President Joe Biden, who only came out at 19%.
The new polls did not bring the results some candidates were hoping for, and now, billionaire Tom Steyer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and author Marianne Williamson all appear to be on the outside looking in.
3. Almost $1 billion in play for prisons
Governor Kay Ivey’s office has released the names of five different companies that have told the Alabama Department of Corrections that they would be able to build men’s prisons in the state, which was in response to the ADOC’s request for qualified companies.
The companies that responded are The Geo Group, Inc., Corrections Consultants, LLC, CoreCivic, Inc., Corvias, LLC and Alabama Prison Transformation Partners. The plan would be for the companies to finance, build and maintain three prisons that the state would operate.
2. Don’t call Democrats “progressive”
While speaking to the Montgomery Rotary Club, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) was asked about how much “the pendulum is going to swing” to increase partisanship, despite the gap between conservative Republicans and progressive Democrats growing.
Byrne clarified that he doesn’t believe Democrats are “progressive” at all since he believes their views are “regressive,” explaining how “some of them are anti-Semitic. That’s regressive.” He also pointed out how most “progressive” Democrats are in favor of “big, strong central government,” so instead Byrne said he just calls them the “far-left.”
1. Byrne joins Zeigler’s “no tolls” push
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler has been consistent that he’s not in favor of the proposed $6 toll for the I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge, but now he’s clarified that he wouldn’t support any tolls, no matter the amount. Congressman Bradley Byrne agrees.
Zeigler’s Facebook page, Block the Mobile Bayway Toll, makes it clear that he isn’t the only one against the tolls, since now there are 50,000 members in the group, and while Governor Kay Ivey has said that there’s a lot of “noise” out there opposing the tolls, Zeigler isn’t exactly shy about making noise.